The Navy retained the name assigned to the ship by the U.S. Shipping Board.
(Freighter: displacement 5,900; length 281'0"; beam 46'0"; draft 23'0" (mean); speed 10 knots; complement 56; armament: none)
Banago a wooden hulled, single screw, cargo vessel built under the auspices of the United States Shipping Board (USSB) at Mobile, Ala., by the Alabama Dry Dock and Ship Building Co. was launched on 4 July 1918. Taken to the navy yard at New Orleans to be fitted out for naval service, Banago was purchased by the Navy on 25 September 1918 and assigned the identification number (Id. No.) 3810.
Commissioned at New Orleans on 29 September 1918, Lt. Comdr. Hans R. Hansen, USNRF, in command, Banago was earmarked for coastwise operations under the aegis of the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) and, after fitting out, sailed for Hampton Roads, Va., on 2 October. Reaching Norfolk on the 13th, she was found to need extensive repairs before she could proceed "on duty assigned" and thus did not continue her voyage until early the following month. After taking on board a cargo of coal for delivery to St. John’s, Newfoundland, and 200 bags of anthracite for discharge at Melbourne, Nova Scotia, Banago cleared Norfolk on 5 November, six days before the armistice stilled the guns of World War I on the Western Front. However, plagued by rudder troubles, the freighter returned to Norfolk the next day for repairs.
Inspected to determine the scope of the repairs necessary, Banago discharged part of her cargo before getting underway, under tow, on 13 November for New York. Sent to Gowan’s Bay soon after her arrival there on 15 November, she discharged 2,600 tons of coal before entering drydock on 20 November. She remained there for a month and a day before being decommissioned on 21 December 1918. That same day, she was simultaneously transferred to the USSB, and her name was struck from the Navy list. She remained in the hands of the Shipping Board until broken up for scrap in 1923 or 1924.
Robert J. Cressman
2 March 2006